Let's talk about PvP

Over the years, we've added many types of PvP play to Path of Exile. We started with some simple matchmaking queues, and over time added Capture the Flag, the Sarn Arena, Dueling and experimented with cut-throat mode.

These PvP modes were relatively niche but developed a growing community of players who enjoyed finding PvP items, building PvP builds and competing in their own community tournaments. Until recently, there was never any real official recognition of this - it never made the site news and we never ran our own tournaments.

Since release in 2013, about half our studio has been working on a large expansion that includes all of Act Four and some other cool stuff. During that time we've released smaller expansions (Sacrifice of the Vaal and Forsaken Masters), and hadn't planned any new content to go with the new challenge leagues in December of 2014. Some team members who weren't working on the Act Four expansion had a plan to improve Path of Exile's PvP scene with an update that will put it in good shape for years to come. This was scheduled for and released in December.

Our scheduled plan was that by adding formal tournaments with prizes and some news attention, PvP would reach a critical mass where you can always find a fun match on demand. We flew one of the most prominent members of the PvP community to our offices in New Zealand and picked his brain for a week. In order to spice things up for participants, we arranged awesome sponsored prizes (thanks to Razer and Karma Koin!). We put together a tournament schedule with two finale invitational events at the end of the season that will each crown a PvP champion.

Most importantly, we made a big space in our news and talked about PvP a lot. Upon releasing the update last month, PvP got the surge it needed to become a part of the game that we were proud of. We congratulated winners, promoted PvP events and featured a PvP build in this week's Build of the Week.

While PvP may never be the primary way that most people play PoE, we're very pleased with the growth of its community and are confident that it'll continue to grow, especially as Season Two takes place in challenge leagues where the playing field is more level.

Unfortunately, there's a growing amount of negativity from the community towards us showcasing PvP. Players worry that we're diverting a lot of resources away from core content or that we don't understand what our players want us to deliver. Given the spotlight we've put on PvP (with prizes, news coverage, etc), I can understand why people feel this way. Maybe it looks like we think PvP is the big thing now and that's all we talk about, for some reason ignoring the rest of the game? That's not the case - we're merely shining a spotlight on it to encourage people to play it. The recent PvP changes didn't take that much effort to set up and have a very high payoff for the amount they cost us, even if only a small portion of the community engage deeply with them.

I'd like to reassure people that us giving PvP a decent shot doesn't mean anything less for the rest of the game. Almost all of our development resources are on the Act Four expansion, and it's going to be completely awesome. We're not able to talk about the next expansion for quite some time still, so we feel it's appropriate to discuss PvP stuff in the news often because it's very interesting to watch who is winning with which builds and in what metagame. We still have plenty of regular news scheduled about upcoming changes, and social/community/PvP news items will never be given priority over actual news about game updates. While we don't have game update news every day, I'll make sure to keep you guys abreast of the type of changes we have coming in the next expansion (as they approach being finalised) so that we can get feedback.

As usual, thanks for the feedback and support!
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Last bumped on Sep 12, 2020, 7:33:57 AM

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